Saturday, January 03, 2015

Much ADO about Nada

I had long resisted purchasing bus tickets on line, especially from ADO (Autobuses Del Oriente) which serves southeastern Mexico. If you want, for example, to travel from México, DF to Oaxaca, you are pretty much limited to ADO.

Another reason for reluctance for on-line purchase was that ADO was notorious (at least, on the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree Mexico Branch) for not accepting foreign credit cards. And I was reluctant to use my Mexican bank ATM card.

Moreover, the web site interface, as well as its partner site, Boletotal (formerly or perhaps still "TicketBus" was unusual in the world of Mexican bus line websites. The ADO and especially, Boletotal sites had a peculiar, and often nosy way of gathering info of the bus ticket supplicants.

I can't say for sure whether these particular sites qualify, but some Mexican bus websites have a timeout function. You had better complete your transaction in the meager allotted time or be forced to begin all over from the beginning.

While it's true that it's often practical to go to the appropriate bus station to buy tickets on the day of departure. Those of us who are qualified to reap the benefits of Mexico's INAPAM senior discount program usually prefer to purchase in advance to be assured a 50% off discounted seat on the departure of your choice.

After purchasing in person at Pátzcuaro bus station our tickets to Mexico City Poniente on the separate AutoVias line (easy), we learned that we couldn't buy ADO tickets from the AutoVías taquilla (But you can buy ETN tickets there.)

So I bit the bullet and entered the fray on the site. It wasn't as bad as expected. There was, eventually a place to check off INAPAM (although they didn't ask for the numbers of our credenciales. There will be a review at boarding.

At last I reached the final screen, which informed me that "page couldn't be displayed." Oh, woe.

Yet when I opened my email in-box, there was a confirmation of payment from ADO!

Of course, there was just one tiny flaw: there was the word "null" after my name. I don't think this will present any problems at our boarding time.

Space Age Travel in Mexico TAPO

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